PHIL 2610 Philosophy of Language 2016

PHIL 2610: Philosophy of Language
University of Hong Kong
1st Term 2016

Course Instructor: Dr. Michael Johnson
Instructor Email: michael dot dracula dot johnson at gmail dot com
Office: Run Run Shaw Tower 10.11
Office Hours: Tuesdays 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Course Website: you’re here
Location: CPD 3.01
Meeting Times: Tuesdays 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM

Assignments and Grading

Essay draft: 20%
Revised essay draft: 30%
Final essay: 40%
Participation: 10%

Course Schedule

Sept 6: Introduction
Today’s slides

Sept 13: The Idea Theory
Today’s slides
Reading: Reading: John Locke, Book III Chapters i-iv, ix-xi, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.

Sept 20: Verificationism
Today’s slides
Primary Reading: Hempel, “Problems and Changes in the Empiricist Criterion of Meaning”
Background: Lycan, Philosophy of Language Chapter 8, Chapter 8

Sept 27: Definitions and Descriptions
Today’s slides

Oct 4: The Use Theory
Today’s slides
Reading: Jerry Fodor and Charles Chihara, “Operationalism and Ordinary Language,” Ch. 1, p. 35, read the first 5 sections, you can keep going or stop after 3 or 4, whatever you find most helpful

Oct 11: The Causal-Historical Theory
Today’s slides
Secondary Reading: Evans, “The Causal Theory of Names”
Background: PL, Chapter 4

Oct 18: NO CLASS: Reading week.

Oct 25: The De Se
Read: John Perry, The Essential Indexical
Today’s slides

Nov 1: Implicature
Today’s slides
Read: H.P. Grice, Logic and Conversation
Draft essay due

Nov 8: Semantic Paradoxes
Today’s slides

Nov 15: Wittgenstein’s Private Language Argument
Today’s slides
Read: “Private Language,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Draft essays returned. Second optional tutorial.

Nov 22: The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
Today’s slides
Read: The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax, Geoffrey Pullum
Read: Tom Wolfe’s Reflections on Language, E.J. Spode

Nov 29: Last day of class. Inner Speech.
Today’s slides
Revised second essays due. Final essays assigned.
Final Essay